The New York Knicks seem to be in pursuit of a new point guard this offseason.
New York has been linked to Chris Paul and Russell Westbrook, with Paul having ties to new Knicks president of basketball operations Leon Rose and Westbrook having been open to coming to the Big Apple last summer.
However, Marc Berman of the New York Post reported Thursday the Knicks might be more intent on trading for Westbrook after Daryl Morey stepped down as Houston Rockets general manager on Thursday:
With Houston president Daryl Morey stepping down a year after his controversial retweet about China/Hong Kong, league sources believe the Rockets are likelier to look into trading away explosive All-Star point guard Russell Westbrook.
While Thunder guard Chris Paul and Indiana’s Victor Oladipo have captured Knicks president Leon Rose’s fancy, Knicks executives likely would turn some of their attention toward Texas if Westbrook is placed on the market.
Morey took a flier on swapping Paul for Westbrook last summer, and the move ultimately did not pay dividends.
Westbrook’s traditional numbers were solid. He averaged 27.2 points, 7.9 rebounds and 7.0 assists on a career-high 47.2 percent shooting from the field.
However, the former MVP also posted his lowest value over replacement player (VORP) since his rookie year and was a liability on the defensive end. Westbrook also struggled in the playoffs, averaging just 17.9 points, 7.0 rebounds and 4.6 assists on 42.1 percent shooting.
It is somewhat intriguing the Knicks could be angling to acquire Westbrook. New York desperately needs more shooting and defense in the backcourt, and Westbrook is a ball-dominant guard who offers little value from the perimeter. Russ also carries a large contract, though that might be incentive for the Knicks to ask for another asset in any potential deal.
Regardless, executives seem to feel Morey’s departure increases the likelihood of Westbrook being traded, and the Knicks could be a top suitor.